Friday, December 16, 2011

A World Without Christopher Hitchens?



Whether it was in Atlantic, Slate, Vanity Fair, anywhere, I would always turn first to a Christopher Hitchens article and have been disappointed lately to find fewer of them. Whatever he wrote about turned interesting, even when I disagreed intensely. I loved Hitch22 but hated his almost entirely negative opinions about Israel. He was atheistically proud of his Judaic ancestry, but discovered it too late for it to have adjusted his view that Jews served the world best as stateless cosmopolitans. But, God bless him, anyone who could write so audaciously about Mother Theresa deserved my deepest admiration:

"MT was not a friend of the poor. She was a friend of poverty. She said that suffering was a gift from God. She spent her life opposing the only known cure for poverty, which is the empowerment of women and the emancipation of them from a livestock version of compulsory reproduction. And she was a friend to the worst of the rich, taking misappropriated money from the atrocious Duvalier family in Haiti (whose rule she praised in return) and from Charles Keating of the Lincoln Savings and Loan. Where did that money, and all the other donations, go? The primitive hospice in Calcutta was as run down when she died as it always had been—she preferred California clinics when she got sick herself—and her order always refused to publish any audit. But we have her own claim that she opened 500 convents in more than a hundred countries, all bearing the name of her own order. Excuse me, but this is modesty and humility?"

And on Henry Kissinger? Oy! 


From Jeffrey Goldberg just three days ago: On the Possibility of Christopher Hitchens Finding Jesus
NY Times: Christopher Hitchens Is Dead at 62 
Guardian: Christopher Hitchens dies aged 62
Huffington Post: Christopher Hitchens Dead: Legendary Writer Dies At 62
But...from Jewish Ideas Daily: The Trouble with Hitchens

1 comment:

Comments are moderated so kindly keep it clean and respectful. All racisms -- including anti-Muslim hate speech -- will be denied a place here, as well as terms like Nazi used to designate anyone other than an actual living or past member of a Nazi or neo-Nazi organization.